February 3, 2020
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House narrowly passes low-carbon fuels standard despite bipartisan opposition

Several notable members of the majority party voted against a low-carbon fuel standard in the House last week. The bill still passed, but in the Senate it will face significant opposition from employers, unions, drivers and others worried about adding more than 50 cents to the price of a gallon of fuel.

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Proposal would let King County tax employers based on employee compensation

A bill introduced last week in the Legislature would authorize King County to institute a new tax on employers who pay employees $150,000 or more a year. The tax is leading to fears of a "slippery slope" of such a law eventually extending across the state, with the dollar threshold dropping and more employers covered. A public hearing on House Bill 2907 is scheduled for Tuesday.

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Lobby Lunch: Wilcox encourages young people to consider careers in public service

Thursday's Lobby Lunch featured a packed house with business leaders and a large delegation from the Tri-Cities Legislative Council who were using AWB's offices in Olympia. House Republican Leader J.T. Wilcox appealed to the younger people in the crowd to give public service a chance.

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Employers call on lawmakers to keep Washington competitive during annual Legislative Day

It was the best yet. More than 200 Washington employers and executives from local chambers of commerce travelled from across Washington to take part in AWB's 2020 Legislative Day and Hill Climb. Legislative leaders from both parties and Gov. Jay Inslee met face-to-face with employers to discuss the budget, transportation, child care and more. After a day of meetings and policy discussions, the AWB delegation packed the Capitol Rotunda for an elegant reception.

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Proposed bill would create a statewide manufacturing work group

House Bill 2879, which would encourage economic development through studying how to support the manufacturing sector, will have a public hearing on Tuesday in the House Innovation, Technology & Economic Development Committee. Manufacturers are encouraged to contact AWB about testifying in support.

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HR & Employment Law Webinar series: last chance to bundle and save

Don't miss out! This is your last chance to bundle and save on AWB's HR & Employment Law Webinar series. The package includes all six webinars, topic materials and wrap-up resources that will include all webinar materials, extra information and sample documents. Your ability to register for the whole series expires after tomorrow, February 4. Register now.

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News: Legislative Day and Hill Climb
Focus on Puget Sound

Removing Snake River dams is misguided approach to saving orcas

By Todd Myers and Steve Martin

The struggle to increase salmon populations and help Southern Resident killer whales will be won or lost through recovery projects across the state, perhaps most importantly in Puget Sound.

That simple, scientific reality should guide salmon recovery in Washington. Distractions, like the destruction of the Snake River dams, will end up harming salmon, orcas and those who care about them.

The science is clear that Puget Sound is the most important source of food for starving orcas. NOAA Fisheries and the state Department of Fish and Wildlife ranked their sources of food for orca and found that the Puget Sound, Strait of Georgia, the Lower Columbia and the Fraser rivers are the top priorities. The Snake River ranked ninth.

This is why NOAA Fisheries has repeatedly concluded that destroying the four lower Snake River dams would have a "marginal" impact on orca recovery, despite a very high cost...

Todd Myers is a member of the Puget Sound Salmon Recovery Council and environmental director of the Washington Policy Center in Seattle. Steve Martin previously served as executive coordinator of Gov. Jay Inslee's Salmon Recovery Office.

Read the full op-ed in The News Tribune